This blog post marks the beginning of a series of articles I’m going to write about the way brands are building one-to-one customer journeys with the help of Marketing Cloud in this disruptive digital age.
The East Coast is deep into winter, and moving around has become difficult. Out of all the weekends, I chose last weekend for a little road trip to DC, and my car was almost blown away by the wind during the drive back to Manhattan.
Unfortunately, the weather is going to get even worse, and, at this depressing time, some of the things that keep New Yorkers warm and cheered up are the aggressiveness of an NFL game and a cup of coffee at Starbucks, especially on i95. I’m probably one of the craziest fans of the New York Giants, and Starbucks has been my regular office break joint for years. Emotion drives me toward these two distinct brands, and years of passionate devotion have fueled it. However, as the years pass by, it has become ever more difficult for brands to build loyalty among customers, who are increasingly marked by a deficit of attention. Brand management these days is not only important to consumer-oriented companies, but also is equally important for professional sports teams, artists, media, and events companies to promote not only their brand but also the companies who sponsor them.
Starbucks is one of my favorite brands not only because of the amazing java they brew but because of the way they make customers feel special; they pamper loyal customers, especially during the holiday season. The customer journey doesn’t just stop with a transaction at the register, but it goes far beyond the register; it builds a one-on-one relationship with each customer with the help of an excellent loyalty program that keeps track of customers’ preferences, purchases, and also predicts their pattern of visiting stores. Starbucks understands the most critical factor in building a brand, which is that customer experience is just not marketing but is also getting onboard with the customer on a never-ending journey.
The platform that fuels Starbucks’ customer loyalty program is Marketing Cloud, which is a salesforce premium marketing platform for building one-on-one customer journeys. Marketing Cloud helps enable companies to launch their email and mobile texting campaigns, measures the depth of the campaigns, and ties everything back to the sale. It also helps the brand managers run advertising campaigns by enabling the various digital commerce platforms integrated with Marketing Cloud to create awareness among customers and build an acquisition process, which follows onboarding and successful engagement. That being the easy part, the hardest part of the customer journey is retention and advocacy.
Marketing Cloud is the only marketing platform available that is powered by artificial intelligence. Salesforce has recently injected its flagship AI product, Einstein, into the Marketing Cloud, and now Marketing Cloud can not only predict the customer patterns but also understand them and guide marketers to create strategies based on deep learning.
In an age where customer reach is instantaneous, social media has expanded beyond industries, borders, and demographics; technology innovation is the most critical factor in today’s success. With a technology partner like Salesforce, customers can focus on growing their business, whereas, Salesforce can continue to make technological advancements and deliver the innovation derived to the customers, thereby enabling the customers to be prepared not just for today but for a promising future.
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